PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Freudian Slip, Genital Stage, Phallic Stage
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Chapter 13 : Personality
Freud’s psychodynamic theory:
Topographical model of the mind
Unconscious forces such as wishes and motives influence behaviour. These
unconscious forces are referred as instincts (mental representations arising out of
biological or physical need)
People satisfy the life instinct by following the pleasure principle, which direct people
to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. The energy that drives the pleasure principle is
The mind is divided into three structures:
- Conscious level: awareness of the thoughts
- Preconscious level: content that is not currently in awareness but could be
brought to awareness; analogous to long-term memory.
- Unconscious level: contains material that the mind cannot easily retrieve.
Contains wishes and desires and is associated with stress and anxiety. Reason for
the Freudian slip. Eg; if you meet someone that is attractive for the first time: “I
don’t think we’ve been properly seduced”.
Development of sexual instincts
Freud believed that children went through three major stages called psychosexual stages
that would impact the development of their personality;
- Oral stage- pleasure is sought through the mouth
- Anal phase- focus on the anus, learning to control their bowels
- Phallic stage- libidinal energies directed toward the genitals, discovery of
pleasure of rubbing genitals.
- Latency stage- libidinal urges are suppressed or channelled into doing
- Genital stage- Mature attitude about sexuality is attained. Libidinal urges are
centred on the capacity to reproduce and contribute to society.
Structural model of personality
Freud proposed a model of how the mind is organized; consisting of three theoretical
- Id: Component of personality that is completely submerged in the unconscious
and operates according to the pleasure principle
- Superego: internalization of parental and societal standards of conduct
- Ego: mediator between id and superego. It operates according to the reality
principle, which involves rational thought and problem solving.
Conflicts between the id and the superego lead to anxiety which the ego copes through
various coping mechanisms. Eg: people rationalize their behaviour by blaming situational
factors over which they have little control.
Freud’s theories are now largely abandoned because they cannot be examined through
accepted scientific methods
Humanistic approaches emphasize integrated personal experience
- Humanistic approaches: Approaches to studying personality that emphasize
personal experience and belief systems; they propose that people seek personal
growth to fulfil their human potential referred as self-actualization.
- Humanism focuses on subjective human experience, or phenomenology, and
views each person as inherently good.
Most prominent humanistic psychologist, person-centred approach to personality that
emphasizes people’s personal understanding of themselves. His main theory was the
unconditional positive regard theory;